Collingwood captain Darcy Moore says his deputy Taylor Adams remains a “bubbly” presence around the club as he fights hard to overcome a hamstring strain in time for the Grand Final.
Moore said the Magpies mid-forward is still an integral part of their on-field plans and firmly in the frame to be available following the “very minor” training setback which kept him out of the preliminary final.
Adams remains on a modified program and did not join fellow potential inclusions Billy Frampton and John Noble on the track on Saturday as they pressed their case for selection.
Collingwood needs to make at least one forced change after confirming key forward Dan McStay suffered a high-grade medial ligament strain in the win over the Giants, but after leading the Magpies for goal assists this season with 25, a fit Adams would have earnt selection regardless.
“It’s obviously such a difficult situation with Taylor’s injury, his hamstring a few weeks ago – he is the heart and soul of our team, he trains so hard, he’s super professional,” Moore said.
“He’s so dedicated, such a passionate teammate, and we really rely on those things on the field as well as off.
“Since he injured himself, he’s been amazing. He’s been so positive and such a bubbly teammate and supporting us.
“He’s so invested and I’m praying that he can get a couple of good training sessions in and put his hand up to run out there because no one deserves it more than him.”
A torrid run of hamstring injuries ruined Moore’s 2018 finals series, and he said as a 22-year-old he had struggled to bounce back from being overlooked for the grand final after weeks spent pushing to prove his fitness.
Moore’s dad, dual Brownlow medallist Peter Moore, said the decision by then coach Nathan Buckley not to roll the dice with his son may have swung the result of the game as West Coast spearhead Josh Kennedy kicked three crucial goals.
“He was close … Bucks was nervous he wouldn’t get through a game, and it turned out to be pivotal, because of the tall West Coast guys … he had a tough run with those hamstring injuries, and not a lot of confidence,” Peter Moore said.
“If they had their time again, both Bucks and Darcy, I think he would’ve played.”
The Magpies captain said Adams would be better equipped to handle the disappointment if he was unable to make it to the starting line on Saturday.
“That was really hard to deal with,” Moore said.
“It was something personally that took a long time to get over and move on with my career.
“I’ve got that experience but Tay’s a bit older and a bit more mature than I was, so he’s got the tools to handle it … he’s already been an amazing teammate in the last few weeks so I’m sure that won’t change this week.”